Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Marc Edelman

Committee Members

Ana Yolanda Ramos-Zayas

Donald Robotham

John Collins

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Geography | Human Rights Law | Immigration Law | International and Area Studies | International Humanitarian Law | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Transnationalism, Indigenous Migration, Ecuador, Latin America, Mobility


This study examines the shifting landscape of social and economic inequalities in the remittance-dominated region of southern highland Ecuador, focusing on the transformations brought about by increased international migration since the early 2000s. The broader question is whether or not transnational migration has facilitated political and social upward mobility among indigenous communities. More specifically I ask: in what ways does indigenous identity figure in contemporary international migration practices, how does transnational indigenous migration complicate bounded notions of rural indigenous life, and how might the strategies employed by indigenous migrants transform social and economic inequalities in two small towns in the Cañar province? In order to answer these questions, I engage a theoretical framework which draws from transnationalism and mobility studies and migration industry literature in order to more accurately depict the multiple and intersecting dimensions of contemporary indigenous migration.